Back in the 1930’s my beloved Aunty Nin saved hard from her wages at Swansea Market to buy a lovely Art Deco suite from the poshest furniture store in the area for the parlour of her tiny little council house. A generation later, my sister and I used to visit with Mam and Dad and if we were on our very best behaviour, we were allowed to sit in the parlour on the Art Deco suite. Aunty Nin, like many other older relatives, kept her tiny front room immaculately clean and tidy, with glass fronted cabinets filled with tiny ornaments and lacy antimacassars on the backs of the furniture. Meanwhile, they crammed table and chairs, television and even a settee into the kitchen, cooking, washing up, eating, socialising and watching TV all in the same tiny room, while the parlour was kept for best.
Another generation later and my sister’s children were occasionally allowed to sit on the Art Deco suite in the parlour, but had to have their milk and Jammie Dodger biscuits in the kitchen. Eventually Aunty Nin became too old to live alone and I took the Art Deco suite, ripped and tatty with age. I found a wonderful furniture restoration firm and the suite was restored to its former Art Deco glory and now another generation of our family, Aunty Nin’s great, great nieces and nephews, sit on it. I don’t have a parlour and the little ‘uns are allowed to sit where they want, even with a handful of Jammie Dodgers.
I have just submitted this drawing to The Guardian Witness #3000 Chairs. Last week The Guardian newspaper published Nicola Davies’s poem The Day The War Came about the 3,000 unaccompanied Syrian children refused a safe haven by the UK government. Davis called on everyone who felt strongly about this to paint/draw/sketch an empty chair and share it on Twitter with #3000chairs. Images have been pouring in from professionals, amateurs, children. It’s a moving body of work.
Here’s a bit of trivia, Jammie Dodgers are made in Wales and they’re Doctor Who’s favourite biscuit 😀